More of Tombstone Air

Stranded Zest Air passengers at Clarks. Pic courtesy of NST

Getting air operations and services suspended has now slowly morphing as being a characteristic if not habitual by AirAsia and all low class carriers under the group. The very latest is Philippines AirAsia.

Philippine Daily Inquirer story:

AirAsia PH suspends some flights

Resources diverted to Zest Airways; firm ‘rationalizes’ routes


3:37 am | Friday, September 13th, 2013

Philippines AirAsia is temporarily suspending several local and international flights as it diverts resources to unit Zest Airways, after a surprise multi-day suspension of Zest in August resulted in the latter taking a “significant” hit, both in terms of finances and reputation, a top official said.

Philippines AirAsia CEO Marianne Hontiveros said in an interview Thursday that the airline, which operates out of Clark International Airport, would suspend its Kalibo and Davao flights effective Oct. 9 and Hong Kong and Taipei by early November. She said the international routes would be resumed in time for the Christmas season.

The plans are part of broader efforts by the company, the domestic unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd, to “rationalize” its routes, meaning cutting back or halting flights with “low” passenger loads, Hontiveros said.

The decision was made during a board meeting last Tuesday, she said.

But these efforts have been complicated by the financial impact on Zest following the airline’s suspension by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on the evening of Aug. 16 until Aug 19.

The suspension caused at least P300 million in expenses and foregone revenues during the four-day period, in addition to penalties slapped by authorities in China, a source with knowledge of the matter said previously.

The airline’s reputation also took a hit, as thousands of passengers were stranded and had to be refunded or rebooked. Passenger volume has dipped since the incident, Hontiveros said.

“We’re investors in Zest and we need to concentrate resources here until things stabilize,” Hontiveros said, citing the need to stay “cash positive.” AirAsia Inc. (Philippines), which is a unit of AirAsia Berhad, has a 49 percent stake in Zest.

“The financial losses directly out of the [CAAP] grounding were very substantial,” Hontiveros said.

Zest chair and CEO Alfredo Yao, in a separate interview, said the company continued to receive support from the AirAsia Group but he denied that Zest was in trouble.


Their excuse is they need to ‘rationalise’ their operations. It is not sure whether they are facing similar air operations mandatory and regulatory issues to Zest Air recently or this is purely about money. If it is about money, then is it inevitable of the demonstration on  attitude of the Tune Air Group of ‘money first!’ policy instead of providing a service to their customer.

This is not the first time they did this. AirAsia X cancelled several destinations such as London Stansted and Paris because they cannot sustain operations from the price of fares they intended or promised to sell.

Air Asia mishap in Kuching, 2011

Air Asia A320  mishap in Kuching, January 2011

Lately, Tony Fernandes’s controlled group of low caste carriers records and dealings are getting into very bad light. ‘Flip-Flopping’ about moving HQ to Jakarta, manipulation of half truths, wrong facts and perpetuating lies about KLIA2, deceptive deal in Batavia Air and AirAsia Japan with All Nippon Airways, temporary AOC for AirAsia for obsolete flight operations manual and non compliance and the more recent, suspension of Zest Air operations.

This is not withstanding about the need for CIMB and Maybank to prop AirAsia X’s shares when it was listed in Bursa Malaysia.

There are clear proof that Tune Air and the Group go about their dealings, in accordance to practices and regulations. Recently, AirAsia India has reached into a controversy where Indian politicians challenged for the clearance given to the low cost carrier to operate in the subcontinent, which is a JV with Indian industrial giant Tata Group.

Times of India story:

Subramaniun Swamy files PIL against clearance for AirAsia

PTI | Sep 9, 2013, 06.52PM IST

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Subramaniun Swamy on Monday moved the Delhi high court challenging the Centre’s clearance given to proposed low-cost airline AirAsia India.

The Supreme Court had on August 16 asked the senior politician, who had earlier approached the apex court, to move the Delhi high court with his plea.

Swamy’s plea, in which he has questioned the action taken by the government under the policy, is likely to be listed for hearing on Wednesday.

He said Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared the proposal but the airline does not exist and FIPB cannot give nod to greenfield projects.

Malaysia’s largest budget-carrier AirAsia has set up a joint venture with the Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace to launch the regional airline in India.

AirAsia India will be based in Chennai in which the Malaysian carrier will hold a 49 per cent stake. Initially, AirAsia plans to invest USD 30 million in the company.

In his PIL, Swamy has challenged the clearance granted to the proposed airline on the ground that according to the policy, foreign investment is only permitted for an existing airline but AirAsia India was not an existing carrier.


There should be a comprehensive external audit on all the corporations under the Tune Air Group and all of the dealings, whether from the perspective of commercial, market practices, consumerism, standards of service and civil aviation authorities. This is for the sake of public interest if not the all the stakeholders, shareholders, minority shareholders and consumers.

Probably MPs such as Tony Pua, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Rafizi Ramli could demand for the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee to do the comprehensive audit on Tune Air and the Group, since Khazanah Holdings Bhd. and EPF invest in AirAsia Bhd.

Airport Spring: The AirAsia to get passengers to revolt against MAHB December 2011

Fernandes also is one of the persons who should be jointly and severally responsible for the MyCC RM10m fine each to Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia exactly a week ago. He is believed to be one the engineers and manipulators for the ‘Malaysia Airlines – Air Asia share swap’ under the falsehood pretext of “collaborating and co-operate to bring Malaysia Airlines to greater heights”. We serious doubted that and eventually proven right.

However, the fanfare and devour of the brontosaurus lasted barely nine months which long enough to inflict damage and now proven to have failed and brought disastrous consequences to the national carrier.

Wheelers and OKU protesting against AirAsia

Wheelers and OKU protesting against AirAsia

This is on top of the mounting complaints of thousands, about the ‘hidden charges’ faced by passengers which if aggregated into fares that are no longer ‘low cost’, especially from the corresponding low quality service they get and misrepresentations and falsehood in advertising.

Consumers should be wary of Tombstone Air. It is clear, the domino tiles have started to fall. It is doubtful that The Star would carry these stories.

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 05:30  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hahaha, that’s a nice name for an airline – Tombstone.

  2. Reminds me of the UN air transport service into Bosnia during the civil war. The UN boys called it “Maybe Airlines” as the flights were uncertain, mounted only when the Serbs on high ground overlooking Sarajevo airport were not firing their howitzers. Also remember our Malbatt boys going white when told we posed for photos in front of some damaged apartments. It turned out, many Bosnians were killed at the exact spot – the place was called “Snipers’ Alley”. Sure glad the snipers went on leave that day!

  3. Tony operated Air Asia and Air Asia X ant tune Hotel like Pyramid Scheme r Pak Man Telo Investment scheme.

    The sell forward for hotel room and airline seat base on non existing room and seat.
    i.e they have only 6000 hotel rooms but they sell foward three month for 1,000,000 rooms at a vary low price.What happen most of the time the people who book the room ar air tiket didnt turn up.They forfeitred the booking.Free money.The amount in by the millions every month.

  4. […] top of that, there had been several temporary setback with regards to operations, doubtful safety and risk issues and air operations certificate by […]

  5. […] investigated for all of the deception, false-sales-hood and hyped up business deals, on top all the cock ups and regulations crossed by any of the subsidiaries and reprimanded for. That would be morally […]

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